Often hailed as the brand ambassador of alternate music in India, Raghu Dixit’s happy music transcends age, genre and language. In a recently concluded “Light the Way” show at Purana Qila, put together by Seher, Raghu supported Modi’s global goals and enthralled the audience by performing on his favourite numbers.
How and why did you think of associating yourself with “Light the way” event? What is the global goal you identify with?
I was approached by Seher and “Save the children” who wanted us to be a part of the event in Delhi and after I learnt about the importance of the event, it was a <g data-gr-id="61">no brainer</g> for me! There are <g data-gr-id="78">bunch</g> of goals that really resonate with the band’s ideology of a happy smiling world, and large parts of that are to do with equality, equal rights and education. Those are goals we would back wholeheartedly.
Do you think such musical events help in creating an impact on the youth of our country?
I think musical events and entertainment <g data-gr-id="88">is</g> great to get people together and also act as <g data-gr-id="89">glue</g> that binds people together. I would like to believe that our music creates a great atmosphere of positivity <g data-gr-id="69">where in</g> people are listening to what is being said with an open mind and with a sense of hope for a better future together.
Your compositions always carry a meaning. How do you pick up issues to define your music?
My music hasn’t ever been issue based. I have always been striving to make music that people enjoy and something that makes people happy and forget their reality for a short while and be transported to a happier place.
Over the years, and after reading a lot of our ancient poetry, I was convinced that those great works could be used and presented in a contemporary fashion so people today, with our currently diminishing attention <g data-gr-id="86">spans</g> can have their imaginations captured and I strongly believe that for music to be fun, the lyrical content doesn’t necessarily have to be trivial!
You’ve been the most popular brand ambassador of alternate music in India. How well do you think it’s shaping up in the country?
I think we are in the middle of a great revolution in this country when it comes to arts and entertainment. The biggest problem all of us used to have as artists <g data-gr-id="74">was</g> distribution and reach. There are incredible solutions and platforms for that now, and slowly but surely, we are moving to an environment where there is consumption of entertainment based on merit and not just on marketing.
We are not there yet, but we are definitely on the right path!
You’ve always been very upright on the kind of music you make. Have you ever been under any kind of commercial pressure to record a number in context to your entry into Bollywood?
Absolutely! And Bollywood or any film music for that matter is just that. It is made to suit the situation in the movie. So that is of paramount importance. Being true to what the situation demands and realising the director’s vision requires great talent and creativity.
Is Bollywood adapting well to the kind of music you make?
The question should be the other way round. I’m adapting to the movie industry in my own unique way. I know the various kinds of music I can make and I would love to bring a little bit of myself into the music I make for the film industry.
You have performed all over the world for different audiences. How do you compare Indian audiences with the international ones?
At the outset, there is great joy in being appreciated by your own. So it is always a pleasure performing anywhere in India. However, with regard to content, I think us Indians have a tendency to follow popular music a lot more than try and discover new and interesting music. Whereas, in the west, I find that at least the audiences that come to our shows, have a keen interest in discovering newer music and cultures from around the world!
As an independent musician, would you like you send out a message to budding musicians?
What I have always said, if you are serious about music and being a musician, then treat it like you will treat any other career. Put in the time and investment required to take you where your music should. Don’t treat it like a hobby that you will find some time for when you’re free and then expect the world to somehow miraculously make you a star!
Lastly, by when should we expect your new album?
Well, you should have started seeing a bunch of new songs in our set list already and you will see a lot more of them this year. Whether that gets released as a separate album or not is still something we haven’t taken a call on.